Petites Annonces / Blog

Michael Dregni's review of "Pieces a Conviction"

Michael Dregni (author of several books about Django Reinhardt) reviewed "Pieces a Conviction" for Vintage Guitar Magazine (March 2013 - USA paper edition) :

"The English band Petites Annonces describes their music as “Punk manouche,” offering Gypsy jazz and French chanson with a special accent. As the ensemble’s own warning label reads in small type, “This band may contain nuts.”

Petites Annonces (French for “want ads”) is led by rhythm guitarist and vocalist Jipé Gérardin. The band features twin lead guitars from Damian Moody and Pete Nicholson with bassist Mark Pennell holding down the bottom end. On this, their third CD, they add a light heart to the genre – but still take their music very seriously indeed. The album kicks off with “Opium,” a 1930s French vaudeville tune. With Gérardin’s deep, husky voice and ample musical quotes, the band shrouds the song in a noir veil, transporting you back in time to a smoky Chinese opium den.

Petites Annonces plays its share of Gypsy jazz classics, including Django’s “Swing 42,” “Douce Ambiance,” and “Django’s Tiger” as well as Paul “Tchan Tchou” Vidal’s finger-torturing waltz, “La Gitane.” The group’s versions are less about staying true to the original or showing off their virtuosity. Instead, they brand the songs with their own character and sense of fun while keeping alive the spirit of swing.

The instrumentals are interspersed with Boris Vian’s “La Java des Bombes Atomiques” and Serge Gainsbourg’s after-hours masterpiece “Black Trombone.” Through the sound of the band’s three Selmer-style guitars, you can almost smell the Gauloises and taste the absinthe - MD"

New Album - Pieces a Conviction

Our new album "Pieces a Conviction" is out now. 13 new titles.

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